Archive for August 13th, 2009

Created in Christ Jesus

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 (New International Version)

“Who’s Un-American?” by Terry Jeffrey

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

It was Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009. Congress was planning to vote the next day on a so-called “stimulus” bill anticipated to cost $787 billion. The final text of the bill had not been published, so no one knew exactly what it would authorize the government to do.

Ryan Byrnes and Edwin Mora of CNSNews.com went to the Capitol that day to ask representatives and senators a simple question: Would they read the final text of the stimulus bill in its entirety before voting on it?

Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey answered honestly — on behalf of the entire Congress. “No, I don’t think anyone will have the chance to,” he said.

Late that night, the bill was finally posted online by the House Appropriations Committee. It was 1,071 pages long.

On Friday morning, when the CNSNews.com story quoting Lautenberg was posted, it was picked up prominently by The Drudge Report — helping Americans learn something unlikely to be reported by the liberal media.

As Congress rushed that day to make the 1,071-page bill law, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio went to the House floor and made the same observation as Lautenberg. “Not one” member had read it, said Boehner.

Not one member rebutted him.

One element of this massive bill, it turned out, called for “a nationwide health information technology infrastructure” that would include an “electronic health record” for “each person in the United States by 2014.”

Doctors and hospitals not complying with this mandate, the bill said, would be penalized by having their Medicare payments diminished.

Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey tried to draw attention to these provisions when they appeared in an earlier version of the bill.

“Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors,” McCaughey wrote in a Feb. 9 commentary for Bloomberg.com. “But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective.”

What did these provisions have to do with immediately stimulating the economy? Nothing. They were really about quietly pre-positioning a potentially controversial element of a new national health-care system.

Nor did President Obama or congressional leaders want Americans to seriously study the health-care bill itself.

On July 7, when Obama was pushing both houses of Congress to pass health-care bills before the August recess, Marie Magleby and Monica Gabriel of CNSNews.com covered Steny Hoyer’s weekly press briefing.

Magleby asked Hoyer if he supported a pledge that asked members of Congress to read the entire health-care bill before voting on it and to make the text of the bill available to the public for 72 hours before a vote.

Hoyer burst out laughing. “I’m laughing because a) I don’t know how long this bill is going to be, but it’s going to be a very long bill,” said Hoyer.

“If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes,” Hoyer added.

Read the complete article here.

“Democracy at Work is Not ‘Un-American'” by Donald Lambro

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

WASHINGTON — The people showing up at town hall meetings to voice their strong disapproval of President Obama’s health care plan have been called thugs, extremists, mobs, terrorists and, this week, “un-American.”

Ever since Democrats headed home for the one-month August recess to hear what constituents are saying about their pending health care reform bills, White House and Democratic Party officials have been attempting to demonize opponents who are packing congressional town hall meetings to freely express their opinions.

According to reports from around the country, most opponents are civil and respectful, but in some cases many are also angry; voices are raised, fingers are pointed and names are hurled. This is American democracy at work, spelled out in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

There’s a lot in these health care bills to get angry about. The House bill mandates that small businesses struggling to get by must provide health insurance to workers, and pay an extra tax. Many if not most of them will also be hit by a top income tax rate of over 50 percent.

Seniors are worried, too, because the plan will cut deeply into Medicare — costs that they fear, with great justification, will reduce their medical benefits and their health care.

But the White House, the Democratic National Committee, Obama’s campaign apparatus, and their allies have been effectively smearing the town hall protesters — portraying them as “threatening” and “disruptive” and accusing them of being part of a political cabal organized and paid for by powerful Washington special interests.

The well-tailored Obama White House even dismissed their protests as “manufactured anger” run by a bunch of people in Brooks Brothers suits. Brad Woodhouse, the DNC’s take-no-prisoners communications director, sent out a hysterical broadside written by DNC executive director Jen O’Malley Dillon that broadly attacked those who dared to show their displeasure with the administration’s government-run health care takeover.

Across the country, she said, meetings hosted by Democratic members of Congress were being besieged by “organized mobs intimidating lawmakers, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion….”

These were not concerned Americans with legitimate complaints and fears about the big spending health care bills in Congress. These were “thuggish crowds,” she said.

The White House attacks were shocking in their ugly intolerance of ordinary Americans’ freely performing their civic duty, however imperfectly at times. Obama’s people were attempting to intimidate dissent and protest. And some Democrats suggested that the White House had been too harsh in criticizing the town hall protesters.

But then a vicious charge by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who said protesters who disrupted town hall meetings were “un-American,” was beyond the pale, even by the White House’s strong-arm standards. It was time to back off from the counterattacks, which had become a distraction, and distance the president from Pelosi’s McCarthyite smear job. “There’s actually a pretty long tradition of people shouting at politicians in America,” White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton told reporters on Air Force One Monday in a sudden change in tone.

Read the complete article here./a>.

Climate Bill Could Cost 2 Million Jobs

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) released a study Wednesday that found under a high-cost scenario the House global warming bill could reduce economic growth by 2.4 percent and cost 2 million jobs by 2030.

Environmentalists were quick to criticize the study for underselling the development of climate-friendly sources of power and not releasing other assumptions NAM and ACCF fed into the computer model to get their economic forecast, which takes more of a glass-half-empty view than recent governmental reports.

But the business groups’ figures will likely provide opponents of capping carbon more ammunition and could add to the angst of senators from industrial states. One key finding is that the climate bill will hurt the manufacturing sector particularly hard. As much as 66 percent of the total job loss from the climate bill could come from manufacturers, the report notes.

And though the impact of the bill will grow over time, the economy will start feeling the effects of the carbon cap almost immediately.

“Industrial production begins to decline immediately in 2012, relative to the baseline,” the report notes.

Tony Kreindler, a spokesman for the Environmental Defense Fund, which supports the climate bill, said the business study is overly pessimistic about the development of nuclear power plants and makes other assumptions that raise the costs of a climate cap. For example, the NAM-ACCF study assumes a relatively small amount of international offsets would be available to businesses to help them meet carbon caps.

Even so, Kreindler criticized the study for its lack of details about exactly what assumptions went into the model.

The report’s executive summary, the only version released publicly, does provide some details about what assumption the study makes, relating to the development of wind and other renewable sources of power and the availability of offsets to help businesses meet their emissions reductions. Modelers also assumed that only 10 to 25 nuclear plants would be built in the next two decades.

The Energy Information Administration, however, assumed 95 plants would be built by 2030, under one scenario.

Margo Thorning, senior vice president and chief economist at ACCF, called that projection “ridiculous” given the expense of building a nuclear plant and the length of time it takes to get a permit from nuclear regulators to move forward with construction.

She said the assumptions used in the NAM-ACCF study were based on information gathered from business leaders and energy experts.

“We’ve bent over backward to be generous about how quickly new technology can be put in place” that would help minimize the costs of the climate bill, Thorning said.

Original Link.

“‘Brown Shirts’ vs. Purple Shirts” by Michelle Malkin

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Who are the real thugs? Democrats attack congressional town hall protesters as “Brown Shirts” — likening taxpayer activists across the country to Hitler’s storm troopers. But it’s the Big Labor hoodlums clad in identical purple shirts — the uniform of Service Employees International Union members — who own the mob label.

Margarida Jorge, a former SEIU organizing director who now serves as national field director for the deep-pocketed, left-wing coalition Health Care for America Now, sent out a memo to her foot soldiers last week on how to counter Obamacare opponents. “You must bring enough people to drown them out and to cover all our bases so as to marginalize their disruptive tactics,” she exhorted.

Local SEIU chapters echoed the call to brass knuckles. “It is critical that our members with real, personal stories about the need for access to quality, affordable care come out in strong numbers to drown out their voices,” urged the leaders of SEIU’s Local 2001 in Connecticut, according to a memo exposed by The Weekly Standard’s Mary Katharine Ham.

At town hall meetings in St. Louis and Tampa, Fla., last week, purple-shirted SEIU members engaged in physical confrontations with critics of the Democrats’ health care takeover plans. Assault victim Kenneth Gladney, beaten while passing out “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, is turning the tables on his SEIU assailants. The black conservative activist announced Tuesday that he’s filing hate crime charges against the union goons in Missouri.

These were the first outbreaks of violence since the summer recess began. And that’s no coincidence. SEIU President Andy Stern, the militant social worker turned union heavy, boasts of his organizing philosophy: “(W)e prefer to use the power of persuasion, but if that doesn’t work, we use the persuasion of power.”

Original Link.

Quote of the Day – Rep. John Conyers on Actually Reading Legislation Before a Vote

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

“I love these members that get up and say, ‘Read the bill’. Well, what good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

-House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich, Friday, July 24, 2009, to a room full of reporters at the National Press Club

Will those of you who continue to send these type of elitist legislators to Washington, please remember this when it comes time to vote for them next time. Fire them. Send someone who is actually interested in understanding the life changing decisions they are forcing on the rest of us. Please!!